SF Giants Spring Training Competition:
Long Reliever: Wandy Peralta, Logan Webb, Caleb Baragar, Conner Menez, Nick Tropeano
Favorite: Wandy Peralta
Biggest Competiton: Nick Tropeano, Caleb Baragar, Logan Webb
Longshot: Conner Menez
I’ve been mesmerized by Wandy Peralta’s three-pitch mix for some time and think he can be an above-average reliever. He really got comfortable in a long-relief role with the Giants by the end of last season. Still, it would be inconsistent to ignore the mediocre 4.22 FIP, 4.27 xFIP, and 4.33 xERA that all raise questions about the sustainability of his 3.29 ERA. I’m still calling him the favorite because of my faith in his repertoire, but he’s far from entrenched.
Nick Tropeano has already made some early noise in Scottsdale and posted a dominant 1.15 ERA with 19 strikeouts (4 walks) in 15 innings for the Pirates last year in his first season as a reliever. FIP (2.55), xFIP (3.94), and xERA (4.04) were somewhat split on how sustainable Tropeano’s success was, but a former starting pitcher, he has a much longer track-record of eating innings than Peralta. Assuming McGee, Selman, and Garcia make the Opening Day roster as well, the Giants might feel less inclined to carry a fourth lefty, like Peralta, in the pen.
Caleb Baragar, Logan Webb, and even Conner Menez, to a lesser extent, had their moments for the Giants in 2020. All three were developed as starting pitchers but stalled at the upper levels. Baragar and Menez were already moved to the bullpen last season, and Webb could be next. Still, all in their mid-20s with options remaining and a Triple-A season likely on the horizon, the front office might prefer allowing all three to start full-time in the minors instead of putting them in a relief role that someone like Peralta or Tropeano could fill.